Dance the Medicine is the non human baby of Bernice Raabis. A conscious free form dance practice to connect body mind and spirit, a calling heard since childhood and inspired by many on her path.
‘I love to dance and I love people…. more than anything I love helping people find their love of dance, watching them use its power to open up to their full Divine potential”
Bernice Raabis has been a dancer all her life. From the pointed toes of her youth, through flying hair atop blaring speakers in the early twenties all the way to the sheer ecstasy of sweating in prayer with community. Her dance practice has evolved in synch with her own life. An accomplished mother of four daughters, Bernice lives out loud a life of love in her hometown of Nelson BC.
Dance the Medicine was birthed on a Sunday. ‘Dance Church’ is her premier weekly event. A Sunday offering of a safe place to inwardly explore and celebrate the Divine mystery along side others in community doing the same. With clear intention and sprinklings of direction, she sets the stage for participants to find their own truth, fostering an atmosphere of acceptance, honesty and joy.
Bernice grew up between worlds in the Rocky Mountains on reservation land where she found her love of the sacred in the forest and her love of dance in the mystical dances witnessed on the the pow wow grounds. She later attended a performing arts high school developing a strong base in acting, dancing and singing continuing on to the University of Calgary in a Fine Arts program. In her mid twenties she discovered the ecstatic dance movement and began shedding the shackles she didn’t know held her. She stepped away from the mirrors and choreography and into the soul liberating world of dance as a spiritual practice.
She met dance as a spiritual practice when she stumbled upon Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms. Later stepping forward into the therapeutic nature of movement and expressive arts by attending The Tamalpa Institute in Marin County, California where she was initiated into her own internal process by using Anna Halprin’s Life Art Process. When she felt it was time to teach “the work” she chose to be trained in Leadership by Soul Motions Vinn Arjunah Marti becoming Canada’s first certified Soul Motion facilitator. She credits Vinn with pushing her to her edges, emerging with the confidence and humbleness necessary to hold space for a spiritual practice.
Bernice has had the occasion to participate in and lead ceremonies all over the world and walks the path of the medicine…. she Dances her Medicine. She finds the ways of Spirit to be mysterious and often hilarious keeping humor present while focusing on her vision of a community driven world where all are honored regardless of age, gender, race or economic standing… where all are free to play while willingly contributing to the greatest good of all.
The dance floor can be seen as a safe container which mirrors our ways of relating in the world, a microcosm of life with messages in every movement. Bernice loves to help you bring your true self fully forward. In this state you are empowered to live your life with fluid grace, moving around obstacles with acceptance, celebrating the successes with awareness and ever increasing ease. All you need to work with Bernice is a willingness to let go and remember the divine booty shaker you already are.